NTSB Identification: ATL92FA020.
The docket is stored on NTSB microfiche number 46283.
Accident occurred Thursday, November 07, 1991 in ENGELHARD, NC
Probable Cause Approval Date: 03/31/1993
Aircraft: PIPER PA-24, registration: N7120P
Injuries: 1 Fatal.

NTSB investigators either traveled in support of this investigation or conducted a significant amount of investigative work without any travel, and used data obtained from various sources to prepare this aircraft accident report.

THE NON INSTRUMENT RATED PILOT WAS RETURNING TO HIS HOME AIRPORT FOLLOWING A BUSINESS TRIP. NIGHT, VMC EXISTED, WITH AN OVERCAST CEILING AT 7,000 FEET. THE DEPARTURE RUNWAY HEADING WAS DIRECTLY TOWARD THE PAMLICO SOUND IN EASTERN N.C. THE WRECKAGE WAS FOUND 1/4 MILE NORTH OF THE DEPARTURE END OF RUNWAY 11. THE AIRPLANE IMPACTED TREES AND TERRAIN IN A SHALLOW DESCENT AND CAME TO REST INVERTED. THE INVESTIGATION REVEALED NO EVIDENCE OF MECHANICAL PROBLEMS OR LOSS OF AIRCRAFT CONTROL PRIOR TO IMPACT. IT WAS NOTED THAT THERE WERE A LACK OF NIGHT VISUAL REFERENCES IN THE SPARSELY POPULATED AREA. THIS, COUPLED WITH DARKNESS AND AN OVERCAST CEILING, RESULTED IN CONDITIONS CONDUCIVE TO SPATIAL DISORIENTATION.

The National Transportation Safety Board determines the probable cause(s) of this accident to be:

THE SPATIAL DISORIENTATION EXPERIENCED BY THE PILOT, AND HIS INADVERTENT DESCENT INTO THE TERRAIN. A FACTOR WAS THE DARK, NIGHT LIGHTING CONDITION AT THE TIME OF THE ACCIDENT.

Index for Nov1991 | Index of months